Airport workers are integral to the efficient functioning of airports. Unfortunately, their roles expose them to numerous hazards and challenges. They perform various tasks, from baggage handling and aircraft movement to security and maintenance.
Understanding the risks of these positions is critical for workers and employees alike. With that said, the onus is on employers to ensure that workers have a safe workplace.
Airport workers frequently handle heavy luggage, cargo and equipment. This puts them at risk of musculoskeletal injuries like strains and sprains due to improper lifting techniques.
The dynamic airport environment has a variety of surfaces. They can increase the risk of accidents such as slipping on wet floors, tripping over equipment or falling from elevated platforms.
Ground crews responsible for moving aircraft face collision risks, jet blasts, and propeller hazards. Adequate training and communication are crucial to minimize these risks.
Many airport workers, including ground crew and baggage handlers, are also exposed to extreme weather conditions. This can lead to cold stress, heat stress and related health problems.
Chemical and environmental hazards
Almost every aspect of working with aircraft can be hazardous if each situation isn’t handled correctly. Some examples of potential issues include:
- Workers involved in aircraft refueling handle hazardous chemicals, and potential spills can result in fires or chemical exposure.
- Those responsible for de-icing aircraft deal with chemicals can harm the skin and respiratory system if not handled correctly.
- Security personnel must deal with potentially contaminated items, putting them at risk of exposure to infectious agents.
Airport workers play a vital role in the aviation industry, but they face numerous hazards that require continuous attention, training and safety measures. Prioritizing workplace safety protects these essential employees and contributes to their airports’ overall safety and efficiency.
When an airport worker suffers an injury at work, they should get immediate medical attention. Workers’ compensation should cover their medical expenses, as well as other specific related costs. But, because this can be a complex undertaking, working with someone familiar with the workers’ compensation system proactively is generally wise.